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Comedian Lijodi Kokoto appeals for funds for treatment of his ailing son

Comedian Lawrence Gwako, who is known by the stage name Lijodi Kokoto, has made a passionate appeal for financial support to enable him seeking treatment for his ailing son.

Kokoto, who is known for his role in the popular TV comedy Vioja Mahakamani which airs on KBC, has opened up about the struggles he has been facing trying to keep his son alive as he was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia at eight months.

In a recent interview with a YouTuber, the actor said he has not ‘slept’ in 13 years as a result of a lack of funds for him to support his son

The actor narrated how he was hard on himself following the diagnosis on his son Wesley Obama. He said even then things only got complicated because constant medical attention for his son drained him financially.

“My child, Wesley Obama, is 13 years and was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia when he was eight months old. So in those eight months, we struggled a lot taking him to hospital, seeking medication and all that,” said Kokoto.

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He recounted how initially he lived in denial for a while as his family does not have a history of such a terminal condition.

“It’s been very hard. I have two children, both boys. Currently, Obama is in Kenyatta National Hospital. When I was told that my son had sickle cell anemia I did not take it well. The news hit me hard and I was in denial. I thought he inherited it from his mother’s side,” the actor said.

Kenyan comedian Lawrence Gwako, who is also known as Lijodi Kokoto. PHOTO | POOL

Kokoto said since then his son has been in and out of hospital and as a result he has found himself running low of funds to keep up. 

“Recently he got a mild stroke, and sometimes he is hit with a case of memory lapse. I looked at him and I started getting scared, and it was at that point that I realized I need help because I could see his life fade away slowly,” he said.

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The actor is now seeking financial help from his fans and all Kenyans of goodwill, since at the moment his son is in Kenyatta Hospital undergoing the seventh blood transfusion. He said he needs about Sh2.5 million to take his son abroad for better treatment.

Sickle cell anemia is a form of inherited blood disorder, sickle cell disease, which affects the red blood cells, turning them from round flexible discs into stiff and sticky sickled cells. 

Sickled cells keep red blood cells from doing their job, which is carrying oxygen in the body, and they also don’t live as long as normal red blood cells. As a result, sickle cell anemia patients don’t have enough healthy red blood cells and develop anemia, the condition that gives sickle cell anemia its name.

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